How To Cut Nails Properly Tips

Cutting nails is an essential step in any manicure or pedicure but for too many of us, it is treated as a trivial, often rushed, chore. But healthy, happy hands benefit from some basic nail care. Here are some tips to make your nail cutting easier.

Nail Cutting Tip 1 - Select The Right Tool

Choose an instrument that allows you the best grip, precision and comfort. It can be nail scissors, nippers or nail clippers – whichever instrument you use, ensure it is made of high quality metal, such as stainless steel, and can be cleaned thoroughly, without damage caused by washing and sterilization.

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Nail Cutting Tip 2  -  Shape Your Nails

Once you select the instrument, think about your nail shape. How to shape nails? The answer is easy, since nature has already taken care of the ideal shape of your nails.

Look at your cuticle – the skin at the nail bed that is usually slightly rounded. Its shape will give you an idea how the edge of your nail should look when you trim it. Try to follow the shape of your cuticle, repeating the curve in the reverse.

The most popular shapes are oval, square or squoval (a combination of the two). With well-groomed nails, you’ll always look elegant and these shapes suit the majority of nail types.

Nail Cutting Tip 3  -  Decide The Nail Length

Next, it’s all about length. How long is too long for your nails? Well, it depends on whether you are talking about finger or toenails. For the latter, the rule is to leave just a very short tip to prevent any rubbing against your shoes. For fingernails, there is no strict rule – as long as you feel comfortable doing everyday tasks.

Often, your style and the natural health of your nails can give the best clue. For example, if your nails are fragile, you may want to avoid having long nails because they can break more easily. Also, depending on your profession, it is worth considering what is socially acceptable, as well as the type of task you are performing. For instance, if you are playing a guitar, then you may find it uncomfortable to have long nails.

Whatever length you leave, make sure your nails are always clean under the tips. When you start feeling uncomfortable performing your everyday routine, it's time to trim your nails.


How To Cut Fingernails Properly Tips

-  Prepare the tools, a bowl with warm water and towel or a clean napkin

-  Wash and dry your hands. This will help to avoid spreading bacteria and soften your nails for easier cutting

-  Trim your nails carefully, without cutting the skin around the nail 

-  File your nails starting from the sides of the nail towards the centre

-  Using the tower end of the nail file, carefully remove any dirt from under your nail tips

-  Rub hand cream on your nail plates and hands. (Invest in a good quality hand cream for extra pampering pleasure).

Useful tip:

Filing should be performed only in one direction. Sawing back and forth results in split layers and broken nails.




How To Cut Toenails Properly Tips

Cutting toenails is slightly different from cutting fingernails. Unlike fingernails, toenails should be cut straight with one snip and the corners should be rounded with a nail file. Straight nail edges help reduce rubbing against your shoes and minimise the risk of ingrown nails.

Instruments for cutting toenails include nail scissors, toenail nippers and toenail clippers with a larger head to allow cutting in just one clip. It’s up to you but do make sure you choose one that gives you the best grip, comfort and precision.

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The best time to trim your nails is after a bath or a shower when they are clean and a little soft

Disinfect your instruments with a tissue dipped in alcohol to prevent spreading bacteria or fungus that like to stick to the blades. If your toenails are thick or fungal, use heavy-duty nail nipper which allows easy and precise trimming of stubborn thicker edges.

For a great finish, use a nail file to have a perfect nail edge.

After washing and drying your feet, apply a rich foot cream, containing vitamin E or shea butter, on your feet and toenails. 


Cutting toenails can be associated with catching bacteria and fungus from the blades of the instruments. So it's important to ensure your instrument can be cleaned and if necessary, sterilised.

Be aware that certain health conditions, such as diabetes, require an extra level of care when cutting your nails. Even a tiny cut may lead to serious complications, including limb amputation. Whenever you feel uncomfortable cutting your nails, seek professional advice or see a podiatrist.

View our HK-MEDICURE collection of quality manicure and pedicure implements which have been specifically designed for people with diabetes and feature rounded blades to minimise the risk of awful skin cuts.